Photo credit: Patrick Nouhailler
Winter has far more to offer than ice on your windshield and slippery streets. It's the time of year when families get to pack their bags, strap on their skis (and snowboards) and spend memorable days on the mountain.
These five family-friendly ski and snowboard resorts across North America offer everything you need to create an unforgettable getaway that's low on stress and big on fun.
1. Park City Mountain Resort - Utah
Utah is quickly becoming one of the United States' top ski and snowboard destinations. Park City Mountain Resort, sometimes regarded as a luxury destination, offers family-friendly rates to help you stay within steps of the lift for an affordable price. Diverse terrain, top-notch ski schools, and high-speed lifts make this the ideal getaway for families with varying levels of skiers and riders.
2. Beaver Creek -- Colorado
Photo credit: Mick Chester
Forego some of Colorado's resorts with big names -- like Aspen and Steamboat -- for the more family-oriented and less exclusive Beaver Creek Resort. Beaver Creek offers world-class terrain coupled with family-friendly touches, like an on-site nursery, a Ski School Carpool program, creative and large learning areas for kids and even a special short gondola designed for little ones (and their parents).
3. Whistler Blackcomb - British Columbia
Whistler Blackcomb is widely known as one of the top ski and snowboard resorts in the world. The Whistler and Blackcomb mountains offer more than 200 in-bounds runs, three glaciers and 16 alpine bowls. There's something for every type of skier from toddlers skiing for the first time to expert level moms and dads.
Even better, Whistler is offering a variety of family lift ticket and lodging packages that allow kids under the age of 12 to ski, stay and rent equipment for free during the 2015-2016 season.
4. Lake Louise Ski Resort - Alberta
Photo credit: Ricky Leong
Lake Louise is more than one of the top ski resorts in North America. It's one with terrain, scenery and non-stop fun that you and your littles ones will never forget. The Lake Louise Ski Resort is located within the stunning Banff National Park -- a UNESCO World Heritage Site that becomes an outdoor playground for kids and adults in winter.
Away from the world-class terrain, most area hotels and lodges offer apres-ski programs for families including winter hikes, bonfires, sledding, snowshoe tours and more.
5. Whiteface Mountain - New York
America's eastern states don't get as much recognition for top-quality ski resorts as the western ones, but Whiteface Mountain is constantly surpassing visitors' expectations.
The former Winter Olympics site in the picturesque town of Lake Placid offers more than just mountain terrain for all types of skiers and snowboarders. Families can time themselves on the Olympic Speed Skating oval, bobsled at adrenaline-inducing speeds or take the gondola to an observation deck to see postcard-worthy views of the Adirondacks.
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